Wells continues domination of Rangers
Toronto wins seventh consecutive game against Texas
TORONTO -- The Rangers are Vernon Wells' hometown team. He grew up in Arlington and lives in Southlake. And this year he has owned the Rangers.
"I've got some people upset at home," Wells said after he hit two homers Tuesday in the Blue Jays' 8-5 victory over the Rangers before a Rogers Centre crowd of 10,518.
The victory was the 900th for Cito Gaston as Blue Jays manager, a post he is expected to leave at the end of the season.
"I didn't know that," Gaston said. "That's quite something for me. I'm proud of that. You can't do it without the players though."
It seems Gaston also had a little more help reaching that mark. Some sources credit him with 881 victories, subtracting the 19 wins the Blue Jays collected in 1991 when he missed 33 games while having back surgery. Bench coach Gene Tenace led the team, but Gaston was still officially the manager.
In any case, Gaston's wins total has been helped by seven consecutive wins against the Rangers this season, after the Opening Day loss in Arlington.
Wells has been prominent throughout the eight games between the teams. He has hit eight home runs with 16 RBIs against the Rangers this season. He is batting .448 (13-for-39) against them with one triple as well.
Twice this season Wells has hit homers in three successive games, and five of those six games involved the Rangers. In Arlington, he homered April 5, 7 and 8. Now, he has homered Sunday in New York and Monday and Tuesday at home against the Rangers.
"I wish I could do it against everybody else; we'd be closer in the races," Wells said. "I can't explain it. It's just one of those years where it seems I get lucky against that team."
Shaun Marcum (12-7) allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings with two of the runs scoring on Vladimir Guerrero's 26th homer of the season in the fourth, which gave Texas a 2-1 lead.
Toronto took an 8-3 lead into the ninth, but Shawn Camp gave up two runs on four hits. Kevin Gregg got the final two outs for his 31st save.
Rangers starter Scott Feldman (6-10) allowed four runs and seven hits, including home runs by John Buck and Wells, over 4 2/3 innings. Bautista also hit a two-out, two-run double against Feldman. He has now reached base safely in 19 consecutive games.
Wells hit his second home run of the game, his 27th of the season, in the seventh against Darren O'Day.
Adam Lind hit his 20th homer of the season, also in the seventh, against Darren Oliver with one on.
"We won again as a team," Gaston said. "I know I've said that all year. Tonight Marcum did a great job pitching, and, of course, Vernon had a great night. Bautista came up with a big hit. Lind had a big hit. It took John Buck 20 minutes to round the bases, but he finally got around them. A good night for the whole team."
Buck gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead with his 17th homer of the season with two outs in the second. But first it had to be confirmed by an umpires' review, as it was initially ruled a double. A replay showed that the ball appeared to hit a rail behind the fence in front of the visiting bullpen in right field before coming back on the field.
"When I hit it, I thought I saw it hit in their bullpen," Buck said. "I saw a guy move, and I saw it hit right next to him."
The teams exchanged long home runs in the fourth to create a 2-2 tie. Guerrero's home run to left-center field in the top of the frame scored David Murphy, who had led off with a double, to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Wells then led off the home fourth with a monster drive to the 400 level, above Tom Cheek's name on the Wall of Excellence.
Marcum looked sharp, with eight strikeouts in his seven innings.
"I felt like my arm had a little bit more life tonight than it has lately," Marcum said.
"I wouldn't say electric, but it was tricky," Buck said of Marcum's stuff. "He was changing speeds on his changeup. He was locating his fastball down and way. Off of that he'd throw a good cutter, and he had three different speeds on his changeup, whether it be the four-seam changeup or two-seam changeup."
Marcum was playing off batters' expectations with the changeup.
"I was changing speeds on it when I felt like they were sitting on it," he said. "I felt like I had to take a little something off it to get themselves out in front."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.